Ashanti Region's Malik Yakubu and Ramatu Abdulai from the Upper West Region emerged winners in the male and female categories of the 2019 National Cross-Country event held at Mporhor in the Western Region on Saturday.
The colourful 10-kilometre event attracted several high profile personalities including the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Curtis Perry Okudjeto, Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA) under whose tenure the event was revived after a nine-year hiatus and others.
It also had in attendance the Omanhene of Wassa Mpohor traditional area, Kontihene of Wassa Mpohor, Member of Parliament for Mpohor constituency, Municipal Chief Executive Officer of Mpohor, a former western regional minister among others.
It had 12 participants made up of six males and six females from each region.
Addressing participants after the event, the guest of honour, Mr Curtis Perry Okudjeto, who stood in for the Minister, Isaac Kwame Asiamah said, it was the ministry's mandate to use sports as a major tool for job creation, recreation, promote education and to a large extent crime prevention.
He said it was in that direction that government has invested massively in infrastructure by building multipurpose youth and sports resource centers in every region to serve as a hub where sports men and women can find the space to develop their sporting talents.
Government, he said, was ready to support more of such sporting activities to kick start Ghana's preparation towards the All Africa Games in 2023 to be hosted by Ghana.
The NSA boss, Prof. Twumasi indicated that the competition, which was last held in 2010, was aimed at unearthing talents that could best represent the nation in long distance events at both local and international competitions.
He said the authority was determined to revive all dormant sporting events and the cross country competition was just a curtain raiser for a busy 2019 sports calendar. He congratulated the athletes for the discipline and good performance.
The NSA boss expressed gratitude to individuals and organisations including the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ghana Gas, John Sani Foundation, Ambassador George Lutterodt and others that supported the event organisation in one way or the other.